House lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill that is meant to make it easier for blocking suspicious opioid shipments.
The measure comes amid concerns the opioid epidemic is continuing unabated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a twin public health crisis brought on by stress and economic dislocation.
Drug manufacturers and distributors are required to notify the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration when discovering suspicious orders under current federal law. The measure approved Tuesday would also require them to perform due diligence and stop any suspicous orders of opioids.
The drug makers and distributors would be required to keep records of their reports and notifications to federal drug enforcement officials about the indicators leading to the suspicion.
The measure received backing from Republicans and Democrats alike, including Rep. Elise Stefanik.
“The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on our North Country communities and communities across America,” the Republican said in a statement.
“This bipartisan legislation helps pharmacists and others be active partners in identifying exactly how opioids are distributed in our communities and stopping suspicious prescriptions from making their way in through a thorough reporting process. I applaud my House colleagues for coming together to pass this important bill, and I look forward to continuing my work in with local stakeholders and North Country communities to address the unfortunate opioid crisis and its impact.”